Mike Gervasoni killed in crash
October 22, 2004
RENO – University of Nevada assistant women’s basketball coach Mike Gervasoni was killed in a tragic car accident on Moana Lane at the 395 off ramp at approximately 5:51 p.m. Thursday night.
Gervasoni, 59, was driving his 2003 Cadillac east bound on Moana Lane when his car was struck by a 2002 Dodge pick-up that was traveling southbound on the 395 off ramp, through the intersection at Moana when it struck the driver’s side of Gervasoni’s Cadillac with its front end. The force of the initial impact caused the vehicles to rotate (not roll) and the two vehicles collided with each other at least one other time.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation. According to the Reno Police Department, speed may be a factor in the crash. Alcohol does not appear to be a factor, however it is not being ruled out at this time.
Gervasoni, who would have been entering his second season with the Wolf Pack, came here in the spring of 2003 with his wife, Kim, currently the head coach of the Nevada women’s basketball program. The two met in 1990 while working together at DeAnza College in Cupertino, Calif., and were married in 1997. Mike Gervasoni has two grown children, Mike Jr., and Brett, from a previous marriage. Gervasoni was born September 4, 1945 and grew up in the Bay Area.
Gervasoni used his 38 years of coaching experience to help fuel Nevada’s offensive schemes. Coach “Gerv” as the players called him, also coordinated all the travel for the team. He came to Nevada from De Anza College (Calif.) where he was the head women’s coach for 16 seasons. Under his tenure, De Anza had a winning percentage of .750, with nine conference titles and three state tournament appearances.
He was also the head coach of the boys’ varsity basketball team at Samuel Ayer High School in Milpitas, Calif., before moving on to Silver Creek High School. He spent 16 years at Silver Creek, taking the team to 12 playoffs winning five league titles and one CCS title. In 1984, he took over the girls’ varsity team and holds the distinction of being the only person to coach both the boys’ and girls’ teams in the annual North-South All-Star Game.
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“It’s a very deep tragedy to the family, to this coaching staff, and the university,” said second-year assistant coach Kevin Chaney. “Right now we are in a state of shock, but we are here to support Kim and the team. That is my main focus. The accident was a tragedy. It is unfortunate, but we are happy that Mike did not suffer. All our prayers and thoughts are with Kim and her family.
“Mike was one of the most outstanding citizens I have ever known. He touched so many lives in a positive manner. It would take me two weeks to call all of the people who meant so much to him. He was an excellent father, excellent teacher and coach of the game.”
He received his bachelor’s degree in history, with a minor in philosophy, from Santa Clara in 1967. He completed his master’s in physical education at Cal Poly in 1978. As a player at Santa Clara, Gervasoni garnered All-America honors in 1967. He continued his career in the CBL, which is now known as the Continental Basketball Association. He is known as one of the greatest shooters in the Bay Area, and is a member of the Hall of Fame at both Bishop O’Dowd High School and Santa Clara.
“We are very sad to be losing one of our Wolf Pack family members,” Athletic Director Cary Groth said. “Mike was a wonderful man whose smile and passion for the game brightened up the department. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families.”